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Round 2 for the PV school board

Published December 13. 2011 05:01PM

It's round two for the Panther Valley School Board as it meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to give election of officers another go.

The nine-member board met last Thursday to reorganize, but with the resignation of school director Tony Pondish, nominations for president, vice president and secretary failed by 4-4 tie votes.

The board may appoint a replacement for Pondish when it meets Wednesday, weighting the board to one side or the other, depending upon who is chosen.

The situation on Thursday worsened when school directors Mickey Angst, Irene Genther and Koreen Nalesnik walked out at the start of the subsequent regular public meeting. The three left because they believe that it was illegal to have Tony DeMarco, elected to preside over the reorganization, continue to chair the regular meeting.

School director Bill Hunsicker, who usually votes along the same lines as Angst, Genther and Nalesnik, had left during an executive session sandwiched between the reorganization and regular meetings.

That left school directors Jeff Markovich, Michelle Markovich, David Hiles and DeMarco, who immediately elected Jeff Markovich as president, another action which Angst, Genther, Nalesnik and Hunsicker believe was illegal, given the lack of a quorum.

Markovich's election as president will be nullified at Wednesday's meeting because it was done without a quorum, said solicitor Robert T. Yurchak in a telephone interview early Tuesday.

At that meeting, Yurchak had said a quorum is required only to start a meeting. Early Tuesday, he said his advice to the board about the need to only start meetings with a quorum was based on general meeting procedures and not on school code.

The turmoil has generated talk among the public of asking a Carbon County court judge to unseat any or all school directors and appoint new ones in their place. The process, outlined in Section 318 of the Pennsylvania School Code, can be initiated by a petition signed by 10 resident taxpayers of the district.

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